Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Chasing Your Competiton = Suicide

Copy CatImage by Got Jenna via Flickr
It's widely accepted that you should never say that you have no competitors when giving a presentation to investors or business professionals. The theory goes that if you're the only one who has thought of this idea, or similar ideas, then it's probably not a good idea. Some form of competition validates what you're doing.

But that doesn't mean that you should spend too much time focused on what these competitors are doing. I think you should be aware of what they're doing, but never let their actions and features inappropriately drive your strategy. If you do, you're just a copycat - a follower instead of a leader.

And chances are you're not doing or planning the same exact product or feature-set as these "competitors". You must be doing something unique and innovative, otherwise where's the value in what you offer? So, you'll want to do it differently than your competitors IF you want to do it better.  Reminds me of this quote (attribution unknown):
"Different isn't always better, but better is always different."
And if you're doing is differently (and hopefully better), then you should not be copying your competitor. That's just lazy and closed-minded.
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